In a landmark decision in the highest Court of the land, the charge of “willful destruction of property”, against the Master and C/O of the Hebei Spirit was considered by the Court, to be “unfounded” and sent back to the Appellate Court for a final judgement.
It is thought that based on this decision, a jail sentence should be out of the question.
However, it will mean the Master and C/O of the Hebei Spirit (currently on bail) may not have their travel ban lifted until after the Appellate Court has handed down their decision, which could take up to a couple of months –as it will be conducted with new judges for a start.
One question that does arise is : what sort of law would make it possible for a third party to hand down a jail sentence for you destructing your own property (the Hebei Spirit), without the owners having a say??
Over the next couple of days, the written judgement will be further dissected and will bring you the legal opinon – as well as the emotional ones.
For all parties, the main concern is of course the repatriation of the Indian Master and C/O to their families. They have now been held in Seoul 17 months and now, even with the worst charges being called “unfounded” by the highest court in the (Korean) land – the Korean Courts still will not let them go home.
Still to be seen is whether there will be any criminal conviction of either Master of C/O, as even a conviction with a fine, will make life difficult for further duties on-board, as many western countries will not issue visas to anyone with a criminal conviction.
Have Korea destroyed the career of two fine, professional officers – in their prime?
Have your say and let us have your opinion ..